It's Not You - 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
It's Not You - 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
14
Sat, 01-18-2014 - 7:55am

Wow, did I like this book. Sara Eckel, a journalist, wrote a wonderful piece in the NY Times a few years ago on this subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/fashion/sometimes-its-not-you-or-the-math-modern-love.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

And now she's written a book. It's not an advice book, it's not self help: she simply tells her story and debunks all the myths of why you are single. She was 38 when she met the man who later became her husband, and she had not been in a relationship for 8 years. She writes about her struggle to figure out how she could fix herself so that she could attract a man, but she discovered: there's nothing wrong with her that needs fixing. She just hadn't met the right man. Even though I am 59, I can relate to everything she writes about. And don't let the fact that she did finally get married turn you off to this book. She's far from "smug" about it, and again, she's not telling you how to meet someone: she admits she has no idea.

A sampling of the myths single women hear:
You have issues
You need to be happy alone
You're too picky
You need to put it out to the universe
You are the constant
You're too old

She doesn't mean to imply that you shouldn't participate in self-growth. She benefited a lot from yoga and meditation...but that's not what attracted her future husband. It was mostly luck. 

She realizes that her life, even though she didn't have a special man, had meaning and happiness. One of my favorite passages:
"Happiness was there the whole time. The problem was, I was so specific about the type of happiness I wanted that I far too often ruined a good thing. I wanted the sort of happiness that made me feel normal. I wanted romantic love, yes, but I also wanted the security and social status that surrounds it. "

And this:
"And I personally have wasted a shocking amount of time making excuses for guys who didn't call me for the simple reason that they didn't want to."

So my fellow singles, stop beating yourself up. Get  this book and feel good about yourself for heaven's sake.


 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I do totally agree that sometimes it is all about luck--you just think about how many people are single but you have to be at the right place at the right time to meet someone.  There could be many people who meet the general criteria you have for someone, but there are only a few people that you would actually want to have a relationship with.  I know many normal attractive nice people who are single.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
My struggle lately hasn't been meeting guys I'm attracted to. I meet lots of men. It's finding the ones who want an actual relationship. I think it's my age. Most men in their thirties are either already married (happily or unhappily) or are in denial that they can't wait forever to find someone to settle down with. Or they don't want to ever settle down. I have met two guys in the past year who simply wanted to flirt or have sex, but didn't want to date. The one I just broke things off with wants to settle down eventually, but I think he thinks he has much longer than he does. I can't wait on him! There's another guy that keeps coming up among my friends. I've met him and liked him, but from what I can tell he's bad with money management and a little flaky. His wife suddenly left him a couple of years ago and I'm not sure he handled that well either. Another teacher at school wants to set me up with a friend of hers, but I saw a picture and wasn't impressed. There are just so many reasons why things don't work out. I don't think anyone can reduce them to a list that applies to half the population. I'm sure those reasons apply to some people, but certainly not all of us.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I agree with you, Snywon--in your 20's there are lots of available single people but mid to late 20's is when a lot of people start getting married.  So the ranks thin out when you're in your 30's--by the 40's you get the divorced guys but that's not necessarily that great since maybe there was a good reason they got divorced and then you have to deal with a lot of guys who have kids too.  It's a wonder that anyone gets together!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

musiclover12 wrote:
<p>--in your 20's there are lots of available single people but mid to late 20's is when a lot of people start getting married.  So the ranks thin out when you're in your 30's--by the 40's you get the divorced guys but that's not necessarily that great since maybe there was a good reason they got divorced and then you have to deal with a lot of guys who have kids too.  It's a wonder that anyone gets together!</p>

This is similar to what I say. Dating is like a sale at a department store. On the first day, there are a lot of bargains to be had, but by the end of the sale, one has to pick through a lot of shoddy merchandise. So, yes, dating is usually harder as you get older, especially for women. For men, I think it gets easier sometime between ages 60 and 70, but not until then.

 As to the book saying finding someone requires luck, my religion teaches that marriages, and by implication, marriage-like relationships, are Divinely ordained. It has to be meant to be in order to happen.

However, all this can lead one to be passive and complacent, making it less likely you'll find someone. I only had my first serious relationship at age 28 and got married for the firsr time at age 44. There were things I needed to learn in order to move forward. I also had to make an active effort to find someone or else it never would have happened. I'd be a 50 year old onanistic bachelor today otherwise.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2010

PLEASE DELETE THIS!!! It also takes 2x to change posts. Management needs to look into that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008

Point well taken. But, from what I can tell, most of us here are hardly hermits watching "Golden Girls" reruns. I do agree with Music. It seems like a miracle that anyone gets together these days, especially after 40. I think in many ways that our society, as it is today, works against people having long-term relationships.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006

"On the first day, there are a lot of bargains to be had, but by the end of the sale, one has to pick through a lot of shoddy merchandise."

Are you saying then, that the older one gets--and is still unattached--that they are "shoddy merchandise."? Couldn't it just be that they haven't met the right person yet, and they are, in fact, a real gem (to the right person)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
I vacillate between the belief that relationships are either meant to be or not, i.e, fate, and the belief that it is all just random. If you have ever taken General Chemistry, you may remember the discussion of and lab experiment of boiling water in a flask. The hydrogen and oxygen molecules randomly collide in no particular order. I tend to believe human interactions are somewhat like that. I don't think most of us here are passive. We all seem to have interests which get us out of the house, but for various reasons are not meeting dateable men. For Shywon, it seems she is running into quite a few Peter Pans that do not want to grow up, and the rest are married. For those of us that are older, we tend to meet few available men to begin with. The men in our age group that are single and in decent shape tend to want women 10-20 years younger. That leaves us with much younger men, which in most cases is a dead end, or much older. I am 52 and I do not want to be with a man 65+. In fact, I prefer someone within 5 years of my age. With an older man, I'd be taking on his medical problems, which most men have after 60, if not 50. Why would I want to do that when I have a pretty decent life now? I'd argue that it is far different for you as a man. If a man is not hideously ugly and has a decent disposition, he is *always* going to have options. As far as religion, I was raised Catholic, but am now more of a Deist. The God I believe in likely considers it a waste of my time on earth to spend every waking moment looking for a romantic partner, under every rock and stone. I would rather try to be useful, and try to do whatever good I can in a world that is increasingly narcissistic. Not to sound too pious.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2008
That's an especially interesting theory when I think about all of the very undesirable men and women I know who have been married multiple times and had multiple relationships.
Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Gleann- I think about that a lot too. The friend I hang out with the most has been married since she was 19. She's needy, emotional, loud, and attention-seeking. Her husband is chauvinist and rude. I'd never think they'd find someone who'd put up with either personality all day long, but they do. I think it boils down to what you think you deserve in a partner. My most recent guy would probably eventually come around and be willing to commit. He knows my clock is ticking. I was blunt about that. Now, if I were willing to put up with his immaturity and lack of commitment for five years, we could maybe end up married. Heck, I could even go off the pill and have that baby with him if I was dishonest enough to do that. It just all seems wrong. For others, they might be willing to put up with him simply because they don't think they deserve more. I'm just not one of those women.

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